The Green Bay Packers (10-4) still have hope of improving their playoff seeding and they’ll try to do it against the Tennessee Titans (5-9), who have nothing left to play for but pride.
Who’s not playing?
Usual story for the Packers. Half the roster will be standing around on the sidelines. Out are Charles Woodson, James Starks, Jordy Nelson, C.J. Wilson and Tom Crabtree. Alex Green is questionable with a concussion and Don Barclay is questionable because he’s sick. Jerel Worthy and Greg Van Roten are also questionable. For the Titans, center Kevin Matthews is out and linebacker Colin McCarthy, cornerback Ryan Mouton, defensive end Scott Solomon, and receivers Damian Williams and Kendall Wright are questionable.
Who should I bet on?
The Packers are between 12.5 and 14-point favorites. They’re facing a team with nothing to play for in what should be some pretty dreadful weather. Most importantly, Green Bay is 6-1 against the spread at home this season. It’s a no-brainer. Take the Packers.
What to Watch For
Any sort of Packers running game
The Packers have rushed for 152, 140 and 113 yards in their last three games. So they’ve got the running game going, right? Well, not so fast. If Green and Barclay don’t play, continuing that success probably isn’t going to happen. T.J. Lang will have to move from left guard to right tackle, where he’s been terrible. Evan Dietrich-Smith will move from center to left guard and the recently benched Jeff Saturday will start at center. Either Ryan Grant or DuJuan Harris would start in the backfield. Neither of these guys was on an active roster when the season began. Oh, and did I mention the Packers might not have a single backup offensive lineman if Greg Van Roten is out? Chances are Barclay and Van Roten will be active, but this is a disaster waiting to happen if they aren’t.
Normally, you can point to one thing an opposing team does well. The Lions can throw it. The Bears play defense. The Vikings are Adrian Peterson. And so on… The Titans do absolutely nothing well (except cheerleaders). Take a look at their league ranks — 23rd in scoring, 23rd in total yards, 21st in passing yards, 19th in rushing yards, 30th in points allowed, 23rd in yards allowed, 19th in passing defense and 25th in rushing defense. Obviously, all of those ranks are in the bottom half of the NFL. Must be real fun to watch this team every week. You should thank whatever God you believe in you’re not a shit kicker from Tennessee.
Most of the drama in the NFL is going to be happening somewhere other the Lambeau Field on Sunday. The big matchup for the Packers is San Francisco at Seattle on Monday night. If the Seahawks want to repay the Packers for that gift way back when, they can beat the 49ers, which will move Green Bay into the No. 2 seed in the NFC (providing they handle the Titans as expected). You’ve also got Minnesota traveling to Houston. A Texans win and the Queens can kiss the playoffs goodbye. Then there are the three NFC East teams — Washington, Dallas and the Giants — fighting for that pathetic division. Probably most intriguing is the Giants at Baltimore on Sunday night simply for the fact that, let’s face it — we don’t want to see those pricks from New York in the playoffs ever again. It’s best if they lose out and go home wearing Manning Face.
Randall Cobb’s pursuit of history
Cobb will surpass the Packers single-season all-purpose yards mark of 2,250 (set by Ahman Green in 2003) on Sunday. He’ll probably do it the first time he touches the ball. However, he’s 456 yards away from getting his hands on the NFL record set by Darren Sproles last season. He needs to average 228 all-purpose yards over the final two games and pretty much needs a monster game this weekend to have a shot. If Cobb breaks a return for a touchdown, he’s in business.
Don Barclay is questionable today with an illness…
Packers 27, titans 13
When I heard Barclay was on the injury report I admit I panicked a little. Nobody wants to see Lang go back to tackle. Thankfully it’s just an illness. Hopefully, he’s better for the holidays.